The Best Gran Fondos to Participate in 2023

By : Mr Mamil
Updated :

This site is supported by its audience. We may earn an affiliate commission when you purchase through links on this site.

Gran Fondos are popular among cyclists as they provide a challenging and rewarding cycling experience, often in beautiful and scenic locations. Many Gran Fondos also have a competitive element, with riders racing against the clock or against other riders to achieve a personal best time or place.

The ride distance is typically between 100 to 250km, or even more. They’re often organized as mass participation rides, with hundreds or thousands of riders participating from worldwide.

If you’re considering participating in your first Gran Fondo, here are 10 of the best Gran Fondos for 2023.

Gran FondoDateLocation
Gran Fondo Strade Bianche5th March 2023Italy
Paris Roubaix Challenge8th April 2023France
Liege-Bastogne-Liege Challenge22nd April 2023Belgium
Alpen Challenge Lenzerheide22nd April 2023Switzerland
Gran Fondo New York21st May 2023USA
Ronde van Vlaanderen Cyclo21st May 2023Belgium
Lapierre Gran Fondo Mont Ventoux11th June 2023France
Marmotte Gran Fondo Alps25th June 2023France
Maratona dles Dolomites2nd July 2023Italy
L’Etape du Tour9th July 2023France
Top 10 Gran Fondos in 2023

Gran Fondo Strade Bianche

Gran Fondo Strade Bianche
Gran Fondo Strade Bianche

Gran Fondo Strade Bianche is held annually in the Tuscany region of Italy. The gran fondo takes place a day after the men’s race on Saturday. The route takes riders through the beautiful Tuscan countryside, past vineyards, olive groves, and historic towns.

The main attraction of Gran Fondo Strade Bianche is its unique course. The white gravel roads, or strade bianche, provide a challenging and rewarding cycling experience unlike anything else in the world. 

Paris Roubaix Challenge

Paris Roubaix Challenge
Paris Roubaix Challenge

The Paris Roubaix Challenge takes place on the same day as the professional Paris-Roubaix race. It’s held on the first Sunday of April each year and covers a distance of 170km.

The main attraction of the Paris Roubaix Challenge is the opportunity to ride the same route as the professional riders, including the infamous cobbled sections such as the Carrefour de l’Arbre, and the Trouée d’Arenberg that have made this race famous. 

The route also passes through the picturesque French countryside and small towns, offering a unique cycling experience.

Liege-Bastogne-Liege Challenge

Liege Bastogne Liege Challenge
Liege Bastogne Liege Challenge
  • Date : Saturday, 22nd April 2023
  • Location : Liege, Belgium
  • Distance : 70km (1,250m), 147km (2,647m), 257km (4,500m)
  • Website : https://lblchallenge.be/

Liege-Bastogne-Liege Challenge is held annually in April in the Belgian Ardennes region. The event attracts thousands of riders from around the world, all eager to test their endurance and tackle the challenging terrain of the region.

The longest distance is 257km, with over 4,500m of climbing. The route takes riders through the beautiful Belgian Ardennes countryside, with stunning views and challenging climbs.

One of the main attractions of the Liege-Bastogne-Liege Challenge is the opportunity to ride the same route as professional riders in the annual Liege-Bastogne-Liege race, one of the five Monuments of cycling. This allows amateur riders to experience the same challenges and excitement as the pros.

Alpen Challenge Lenzerheide

Alpenchallenge Lenzerheide
Alpenchallenge Lenzerheide

The Alpen Challenge Lenzerheide is held annually in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. The event typically takes place in late summer, with the exact date varying from year to year.

The Alpen Challenge Lenzerheide offers two distance options for participants. The shorter route is 117km (2,956m) and the longer route is 191km (4,473m). Each route offers a challenging course through the stunning Swiss Alps through the Albulapass, Julierpass, and Splügen.

The route takes riders through some of the most beautiful and challenging terrains in the Swiss Alps. The event also attracts many professional and amateur cyclists worldwide, making it a great opportunity to test your fitness against some of the best in the sport.

Gran Fondo New York (GFNY)

GFNY
GFNY
  • Date : Sunday, 21st May 2023
  • Location : New York City, USA
  • Distance : 73km (1,134m), 166km (2,500m)
  • Website : https://nyc.gfny.com/

Gran Fondo New York is a popular cycling event annually in the New York City area. There are two distances available (73km, 166km), allowing riders to choose their own level of challenge. 

GFNY is known for its scenic routes through the Hudson Valley and New York City, with breathtaking views of the Hudson River and iconic landmarks. Along the way, riders have access to rest stops and support services, including medical and mechanical assistance. 

The event also features a festive atmosphere, with music and food at the finish line.

Ronde van Vlaanderen Cyclo

We Ride Flanders
We Ride Flanders

Ronde van Vlaanderen Cyclo, also known as the Tour of Flanders Cyclo, is held annually in Flanders, Belgium. The event is held in early April in conjunction with the Spring Classics.

What makes the Ronde van Vlaanderen Cyclo particularly attractive is the challenging course, which includes iconic Flanders climbs such as the Koppenberg, Muur van Geraardsbergen, and Oude Kwaremont. The route also passes through picturesque villages and towns, making it a visually stunning ride.

In addition to the challenging course, the Ronde van Vlaanderen Cyclo is also known for its festive atmosphere. The event is well-supported by residents and cycling fans, and riders are treated to various food and drink along the way.

Lapierre Gran Fondo Mont Ventoux

Lapierre Gran Fondo Mont Ventoux
Lapierre Gran Fondo Mont Ventoux

The Lapierre Gran Fondo Mont Ventoux is a popular cycling event held annually in the Provence region of France

It takes place on the legendary Mont Ventoux, a towering mountain known for its challenging terrain and beautiful views. It’s held during the French summer in June and offers riders two distance options: a shorter 80km and a longer 137km route. Both routes will take the riders up Mont Ventoux.

Marmotte Gran Fondo Alps

Marmotte Gran Fondo Alps
Marmotte Gran Fondo Alps

The Marmotte Gran Fondo Alps is held in French Alps. It takes place in Bourg d’Oisans on the last weekend of June, just before the start of the Tour de France.

The Marmotte Gran Fondo Alps is a very challenging ride, with a total distance of 177km and an elevation gain of over 5,000m. The route takes riders through some of the most beautiful and iconic mountain passes in the region, including the Col du Glandon (1,922m), the Col du Télégraphe (1,570m), Col du Galibier (2,645m), and finally the iconic Alpe d’Huez.

What makes the Marmotte Gran Fondo Alps particularly attractive is the combination of stunning scenery, challenging terrain, and a friendly and supportive atmosphere. In addition to the main event, the Marmotte Gran Fondo Alps also includes several other activities and events, such as guided rides, a bike expo, and social events for participants. 

Maratona dles Dolomites

Maratona dles Dolomites
Maratona dles Dolomites
  • Date : Sunday, 2nd July 2023
  • Location : La Villa, Alta Badia, Dolomites, Italy
  • Distance : 55km (1,780m), 106km (3,130m), 138km (4,230m)

The Maratona dles Dolomites is a popular Gran Fondo held in the Italian Dolomites. It’s known for its stunning mountain scenery and challenging routes, which take riders through the beautiful Dolomite mountain range.

It’s held in July each year and consists of three different routes, ranging from short and scenic (55km) to long and challenging (138km), so there is something to suit every cycling ability.

One of the highlights of the Maratona dles Dolomites is the seven legendary climbs that the routes take riders through, including the Passo Gardena, the Passo Pordoi, and the Passo Sella. These climbs are known for their steep gradients and beautiful mountain views and are a true test of strength and endurance for riders.

L’Etape du Tour

L'Etape du Tour
L’Etape du Tour
  • Date : 9th July 2023
  • Location : Annemasse, France
  • Distance : 152km (4,100m)

L’Etape du Tour is a cycling event held annually in France as part of the Tour de France.

It is a one-day race that follows a stage of the Tour de France, and is open to amateur and recreational cyclists. In 2023, it follows the same route as Stage 14, from Annemasse to Morzine.

The route of L’Etape du Tour is designed to be challenging and often includes tough climbs and descents similar in the French Alps. L’Etape du Tour is also a celebration of cycling and a chance for riders to experience the same roads and challenges as the professional riders in the Tour de France.